November Hand of the Month - Discussion

We got twice the amount of submissions in November than we did in October! Thank you all so much for participating in this young promotion – it’s great to see it gaining popularity, even if it makes it more difficult for our Poker Ops team to choose a winner!

TelegramSam is our 500k winner for the month of November! This hand caught the team’s interest, and we wrote about in our blog post right here:

We’ve given you some prompted questions in our article, but feel free to share any and all thoughts you have about this hand in this discussion thread. We’ll be awarding five random participants with 50,000 chips each on January 2nd!

Very straightforward hand here…

On the flop neither the Hi or LO is established,… with KK 1st to act knowing AA is possibly out there… he put the “feeler” bet out there and both flat call’d.
On the turn the J makes a possible high (str8), and add’s the flush draw, Lo is still a no go, so not surprising its (3rd to act) AA thats bets and just gets call’d …
On the river now you have a Lo established, both AA and KK got hosed for improving and can only call on the river to the low str8 who obviously bets the Nut Lo.

Both AAxx and KKxx in my opinion play’d too passive and let 23xx beat them. Seeing the river, both AAxx and KKxx shudda seriously considered folding. I think this hand pretty much plays itself. The (2) HI didn’t try and get the “Lo only” out soon enuff.

I wouldn’t have raised with any of these hands preflop, but I’d play the rest differently. Since no low is established on the flop, if I had the Aces, I would lead with a half pot or pot size bet. Try to take down the pot before someone makes a better hand. I would make a continuation bet on the turn, and if raised, I would fold assuming someone had Broadway. If called, I’d check on the river and fold to an all in bet with 2 straight possibilities on the board.
If I had the Kings, if someone bet half the pot at me, I’d probably fold unless I didn’t believe the player. If I had stayed in, I would have raised to see where I really was in the hand. In this case, a minimum bet was made - I would have raised and folded if reraised. If called, I would back off, assume I am probably beat and fold to any bets above minimum.
If I had the 2 3, I would probably play it the same way he did. Keep it as cheap as possible, until you know you have it. Any low card would have given him the best low, even without the straight. Since many players in the freeroll seem to go all in on the strength of their low hand, betting everything on the river often gets at least one call. The high hand isn’t assured, as somebody could have Broadway, but you are sure to get at least part of the pot.

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I mostly concur with bahia7 with this exception: the KKK had the first option to bet, and did so with the low hand flat calling. I think the AAA should’ve raised, perhaps by the amount in the pot. (This may not have made much difference in the outcome, though, as the low would know what the odds were for the call on the flop bet–exactly the same as he actually did call, just with bigger numbers.) After the turn of the J, though, if the AAA had raised on the previous street, both the KKK and the low would’ve likely checked to the AAA. If the AAA now bets the pot, both players would be hard-pressed to make that call, especially the low because he’d be close to all in. If the low folded–and there’s no assurance of a low card coming on the river, after all–then the AAA takes it. Or, the low could’ve felt lucky, said to himself “there’s enough chips in there to gamble for” and called anyway. So, yes, it could’ve been played differently. Whether differently would’ve been better is just speculating.



The limp on the button kinda determined the whole faith of that hand. Had jdwink1952 made a decent pre-flop raise, hase72 would’ve probably called, and considering TelegramSam’s stack size and cards, he would’ve probably folded, leaving the battle between the aces and the kings.

Since that didn’t happen, this hand was destined to be won by Sam no matter how it was played next.

The Flop

After seeing that flop, no matter what the bets were and who initiated them, everyone would’ve still called. I don’t think it was wrong to slow play, limp, make a small bet or even go all in at this point. It was probably better for the players to play exactly as they did, because AK5 isn’t reassuring to any of them.

In all cases, no matter the bets, everyone would have called (hard to fold AAA, KKK, and the 23 for the lo at this point)

The Turn

I think checking would have been the best option at this point, because it’s no longer looking very good for the hi hunters. And I would’ve definitely called the bet as TelegramSam did here.

The River

Now that TelegramSam has both the best high and low hand, I would’ve gone all in exactly as he did.

Both other players should’ve folded at this point. As hard as it is to fold aces and kings, both of them had no low hand, and the board was screaming straights (wheel or broadway, both are better hands).

The only action that would have changed the course of the hand in my opinion would’ve been a pre-flop action initiated by jdwink. Other than that, the only thing I would change is the 2 hi chasers folding to the all in bet at the river.

TelegramSam said: “ The two players who lost were slow-playing, allowing the ultimate winner to attain the nuts on the river.

I personally think that their bigger mistake is calling the all in bet at the river. Slow-playing didn’t cost them that much until they made that final call.

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I don’t know much about Omaha poker, but it is interesting to follow the logic of play. The one thing that is true in Omaha and Texas is that slo-play usually works against you, as these two guys discovered, especially the one with AAA. I wish I could say I have learned the lesson but, well . . . :smiley:

Addon to my post :
In general, in Omaha HiLo, it kinda boils down to which is established 1st… any HI , or any LO… the power then becomes with the “nuts” in each catagory… and all hell breaks loose if both are established on the flop ( @ same time ). When only 1 of the HI or LO hits, thats when you have to get the other side out, or face splitt’n the pot later on… or worse, losing altogether.

This is a very straight forward hand in Omaha Hi/Lo. The two slow players got burned with the river and that’s not unusual. I’ve dealt with much stranger hands than this one that could qualify for hand of the month!


I concur with @Maya in saying “their bigger mistake is calling the all in bet at the river. Slow-playing didn’t cost them that much until they made that final call.”

I don’t think they were slow playing, they were only playing their sets, they were hoping that the table will pair out and they get a full house or their set stands. Calling the all in at the river, which has to be a straight A-10 or A-5 and they have no lows, makes them either they don’t know the game or too placid with their high stacks. To me it looks like they played it too casually which happens now and then.

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To answer the questions: I would have played exactly like any of them, except fold when telegramsam went all in. There could be a possible bluff, but possible good hand outweighs the possibility of a bluff. The hands were not strong enough (sets and low draw) to raise or slow play, imo.

play slow and wait for a good hand

Slowplay kills. In the immortal words of the late and great Stan Lee, 'Nuff said.

It is turning out to be a interesting debate. To slow play or not. Two ways of playing: one pre-flop and high betters and two wait for as many cards as possible and make the decision. Two school of thoughts, two ways of playing. They won’t meet. Some play hybrid. Many of the good players in Replay play hybrid. In this case, they would probably bang with a big bet with ace set and collect 2540, probably not after seeing the connected flop and low draw. Its a judgement call. My argument is why risking good portion of your stack for 2540, or for that matter any amount. King set may call, may get a king, low draw may call may hit a straight, there may even be a A-10 straight draw. I would rather slow play. Many steady players in Replay would do like that too. First type of players will play probably like what @bahia7 and @Alan25main has said. It may be worse, SB would go all in with king set, BB would have folded, Button would call with ace set. SB would be out of the tournament or collect the pot if his king set stands.

Different ways of playing poker, Each one is justified in its own respect.

I agree with Comicguy. The only time I slowplay is if it’s down to one on one, and the person I’m playing against is a known bluffer/bully, or if I have a “nut”. I realize by using this strategy that I could be losing out on collecting more chips, but it’s better than being “rivered” out of a pot!!!

You cannot, I repeat cannot , sloplay in Omaha, Royal, and especially HiLo…
Its just too darn draw heavy… You’ll be lunchmeat most of the time. Sure maybee you can try and sloplay Quads or a low Str8Flush… You better min have a boat to get to that party.

When AA flat call’d the 600 on the flop, KK shudda attack’d to push the Lo out on the turn, and took his/her chances the str8/AA wasnt there. You won’t make money long term, if your only prayr is the low on the river… especially with the high str8 showing… & u aint got it.

how do i post a hand for hand of the month

hi @keithy111

You have to email the hand to with your comments.

Please check this thread for more info.

With all due respect to other people’s opinion that you cannot slow play in Omaha, Royal or hi/lo (stated more as a fact than an opinion), my personal take is that slow play is one of the best strategies in all 3 of them, especially Royal.

In this specific hand, and considering Sam’s hole cards and stack, a pre-flop raise by the AA holder could’ve changed the outcome, but that’s just an assumption, and doesn’t always apply. However, raising pre-flop with AA, especially in Royal, (or even in hi/lo when you don’t have any low cards) is not the best strategy and doesn’t always end up very well for the initiator.

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This hand illustrates why it’s necessary to fast-play strong hands in poker, whether Texas Hold 'Em, Omaha Hi-Lo, or some other variant.

The table is very short-stacked, with most of the table under 10BB, and everyone below 25BB. With the button sitting on a pair of aces, and AK both of clubs, this is a clear raise. If @jdwink1952 opens to ~2.5BB in that spot, with a plan to call any jam, he’ll be in position against the other two players postflop, and would probably have a decent chance of knocking at least one of them out before the hand begins.

I don’t hate hase72’s decision to complete here, but in those shoes I’m not loving the spot. He’ll be out of position postflop, can’t make a flush, and unless he catches a king or QJ on the flop, it’ll be tough to continue.

His decision to lead out on the flop with a minbet, though, I very much dislike. Merely completing preflop showed a lot of weakness. If I’m in that spot, I want one of the two players behind me to open so that I can come over the top with the second highest possible hand (at the moment). There are only backdoor flush draws - which is great, since I can’t make a flush myself - and there are only two cards to a low. With KK and no preflop raisers, I’m not expecting someone else to be holding AA, so I’m very happy with my cards right now. If he decides to lead out, he needs to use a much larger size. You’re not going to scare off any lows, or anyone holding TJQ or 234 with backdoor flush draws, with a quarter-pot bet. On the other hand, you could get way more value from someone holding A5 or AK that made two pair, or 55 that made bottom set. Should you decide to lead out, I’d target something in the vicinity of a full-pot bet.

Once the flop appears, it’s going to be hard to kick @TelegramSam out of the pot. Out of the 45 cards in the deck he hasn’t seen, there are 15 cards in the deck that give him the nut low - any 4, 7, or 8, and the remaining three sixes. Another 6 cards (the remaining twos and threes) will give him the second nut low. With nearly half the deck likely giving him half the pot, there’s little he shouldn’t be calling. Facing a minbet, I might even decide to jam with my low, wheel, and backdoor flush draws, putting maximum pressure on the small blind and anyone with draws themselves.

With @jdwink1952’s hand on the flop, facing a bet and a call, he needs to raise, and raise big. At the moment, he’s got the nuts. However, any 2, 3, 4, T, J, or Q will bring a potential straight to the board, and he blocks none of those, which could bring a very awkward decision facing bets on later streets. Just as @TelegramSam has a lot of cards he can hit, @jdwink1952 has a lot of cards he has to avoid on turns and rivers. Flush out those draws with a pot-sized bet. That would force @TelegramSam to make a call for his tournament life, and if @hase72 calls, you’re setting up for a turn jam if the board pairs or brings a 6-9.

J :diamonds: is an interesting turn. QT is now the nuts, and could conceivably have called a very small flop bet. There’s now a diamond flush draw out there, which none of the three players still in the hand can hit. Also, there’s still no available low. I’m liking hase72’s and @TelegramSam’s check here.

I think jdwink1952 is right to bet here on the turn. With two checks in front of him, it’s less likely that someone made broadway, and even if they did he’s still got outs if the board pairs. There are a lot of bad rivers for him - anything that would bring a low could cut the potential pot in half, a diamond that doesn’t pair the board could give one of his opponents a flush which will beat his set, a queen would give someone holding AT, KT, or JT a straight, a ten would give a straight to someone holding AQ, KQ, or QJ… The only “safe” rivers pair the board (9 cards), or the three non-diamond 9’s. That’s less than a quarter of the deck. Once again, he should be betting pretty big in order to flush out his opponents’ draws. A minbet accomplishes next to nothing, providing the bare minimum of value from weaker hands, and not denying enough equity to get opponents to fold off their draws.

On the river, I like hase72’s check, and @TelegramSam’s all-in. The latter has the nut low and second-nut high, so a scoop is definitely possible. The way the action has played out, his jam is only about half pot, and so calls from weaker hands are likely.

At this point, jdwink1952 is in a really crappy spot. His pre-turn passivity and minuscule turn bet have let a lot of draws (wheel, broadway, and low) get there. I think I call, hoping that @TelegramSam is betting with a 26 or 36 low, but I’m not happy about it.

hase72 should probably fold here. He has no shot at a low. There are a lot of highs that now have him beat - a slowplayed set of aces, broadway, and a wheel - and given both jdwink1952’s turn bet and @TelegramSam’s river bet, at least one of his opponents probably has his set of cowboys kicked. That would have saved him a healthy chunk of his remaining stack, and left him with the second highest amount of chips at the table. Instead, he’s stuck with just over 10BB, behind two players - one to his immediate left, the other on his immediate right. Not a great place to be in a tournament.

The moral of this story: When you have a super-strong hand like top set, and there are a lot of turns/rivers that may bring straights and rivers, you need to bet big and deny equity from draws. Sure, you may drive off value that you could capture on later streets should those draws brick off. However, you also risk losing a big pot when your opponents’ draws come in.

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Yes, I would have bet full pot as Sam did.